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APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
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APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
APQP and PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?
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apqp (advanced product quality planning), ppap (production part approval process)
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  Post Number #17  
Old 28th April 2015, 11:44 AM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,861
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

I can attest to that. The automotive APQP process and PPAP have been "appropriated" by a lot of companies, many of which came up with their own bastardized version.

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  Post Number #18  
Old 28th April 2015, 01:28 PM
Sean Kelley's Avatar
Sean Kelley

Total Posts: 214
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

For starters you really need to know what they customer wants. Sometimes all they really want is a Level 1 PPAP that is basically signed PSW that really is a statement that you won't make any changes to your process without their prior approval. It does not mean you should not have all of the supporting documentation but if you are not required to be TS certified then you may not have control plans/ FMEAs, gage R&R, etc. Best to find out what they really want. Being TS certified we are required to have PPAPs from our outprocessors which are supplying a manufacturing service. It is up to us to decide what we want from each of them and everyone is different. Some want it all. Personally I like capability studies. It tells me a lot about their process and whether or not nonconforming product is likely from their process.
Thanks to Sean Kelley for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
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  Post Number #19  
Old 28th April 2015, 03:27 PM

Total Posts: 7
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

Hi, thank you for everyone's suggestions. I wasn't sure where to start because we aren't currently ISO certified and these requests are after we have provided to our customers for years. Our company has under 20 people total and I am sure the PPAP process will get easier after a couple of them are done. I have done research and plan on doing some training on them so I can get better acquainted with the whole process. When I received my initial request, as I said we are a very small company that provides custom proximity sensors and are lower volume, I didn't know where to start. The information here has been helpful, so thanks again!
  Post Number #20  
Old 28th April 2015, 05:25 PM
ncwalker's Avatar

Total Posts: 195
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

OK Beginners - Here's automotive PPAPs for Dummies. There are 18 Elements of a PPAP. It's a fancy way of saying "we want these 18 things ...." Drumroll .......

#1: Design Records - This is just the print or design. So there is a line in the sand saying what you built the process around, because customers LOVE to bump revisions while you are developing the process. What do you submit? The part print you did the process to. Handy tip: IF you have "bubbled" one, submit THAT so the SQE can easily evaluate the material further down.

#2: Engineering Changes - So IF they have changed the design in process and (very often) are way behind at giving you the updated print, you should be making a record of each and every change, probably in an excel document, that shows the changes from when you got your PO to when you got everything done - PPAP submission time. That's what goes in section 2.

#3: Engineering Approval - Usually THEY are involved in this more than you and will lord this over you to try and put off paying you your tooling money. When do you have to do something? When what you produce is testable as a stand alone component or sub assembly. Examples:
- a vibration isolation bushing - they are paying you to design a bushing that can go through X durometer cycles and you have to demonstrate your bushing CAN after so many cycles.
- a bearing - where they are specifying a bearing life under load, and not just straight dimensions
- a solenoid - where it has to cycle x many times loaded and x+ unloaded.
See where I am going? If your component can be functionally tested, you're going to have to submit the results of that in this section.

#4 Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA): To put it glibly, this is a list where you and all your engineers sit around and say "what could go wrong with the DESIGN and what would happen if it did?" It's actually pretty formal and there's a whole AIAG manual devoted to this. But guess what? If you ARE NOT designing the part, you don't have to do this. What I mean is, if your customer has given you a print and said "Make me this exact thing" then THEY are design responsible. If they have given you specifications and it is up to you to fill in the "black box" with whatever to MEET those specifications - you are design responsible and you have to do this.

#5: Process Flow Diagram (PFD): This is basically a flow chart showing all the process steps. A very sore spot with me, the AIAG manual gives you an example and it is goofy and redundant and I really don't like it. AND it says "This is an example." To me, I'd rather see a plan view of your floor with arrows showing how the parts move. Even schematic in nature. You CAN do this. But sadly, many customer SQs want the goofy format because they think it is a requirement. What are your minefields here? You have to include EVERY step. Even movement. If you do process for a while, then send the part out to Bob's special whatever surface to have it painted/treated/plated/glued or otherwise some nasty process you don't want to do and then it comes back to you for finishing, you have annotate: pack it up for Bob's, move it to Bob's, Bob does his thing, Bob packs it back up, move back to me, etc. EVERY step. Including the inspection steps. Also, think ahead. Let's say you are going to get a whiz bang robot trimmer. But it's not going to come on line for months after start of production because it got ordered late and you are going to hand trim until then. If it doesn't affect form/fit/function, you CAN PPAP ALTERNATE PATHS. It does NOT say you can't. Path A is hand trimming, path B is fancy robot trimming. THEN you DO NOT have to resubmit PPAP again when the robot doohickey shows up later. OR if it breaks down 6 months in and you have to go back to hand trimming.

#6 Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA): This is exactly like the DFMEA, but instead of asking where the PART might fail, it asks how the process that makes the part might make a bad one. Simple as that. Could it make a hole oversized? Could it not make the hole? And I am going to add in here - GET THE BOOK. There are rankings for this on Severity, Occurrence, and Detection that are ranked on a 1-10 scale. And the meanings of the rankings is pretty much set in stone. You come up in court or on some crazy warranty issue and you use your own scale that doesn't match with industry standard, well, you have been warned. Also - every step in the PFD must be in here too.

OK - That's one third of the way through .......

Last edited by ncwalker; 28th April 2015 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Clarity. Didn't proof read it.
Thank You to ncwalker for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #21  
Old 28th April 2015, 05:38 PM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,861
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

This is somewhat dated, but I think the essentials are the same:
  Post Number #22  
Old 28th April 2015, 05:52 PM
ncwalker's Avatar

Total Posts: 195
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

Continuing on.....

#7: Control Plan - The process flow diagram list the steps you are going to do. This begets the PFMEA, where those steps are then analyzed for potential failure, which then begets the Control Plan which details HOW you are going to run the process to not have any of the bad things in the PFMEA happen. It's a table with columns indicating the step, what the operation is, is it making a key characteristic. How are you checking it? With what? How often? Here's where the minefields are: SOME people put everything in here. Every machine setting, readout, everything. I've seen these things get longer than 100 pages. The problem with this is - if in 6 months you bring on a new chiller, and suddenly your shop water changes temperature and you have to recalibrate all your settings - guess what? You have to re-PPAP because you changed the process. So don't overdo this. It it OK to put something in there like "refer to work instruction XXXX" for settings so you don't paint yourself into a corner. BUT ... what your SQ will require is sadly very inconsistent from customer to customer. So this one is always a bit of a game. Another mine field - it is very tempting to put in your control plan "I check one part out of every lot." I advise against that, though it is common and widely accepted as OK. Instead, put how many parts that is. If you are making cookies and you say early on in the process you are checking a 40 lb sack of flour for moths as part of your control plan, how many cookies is that? 100? 1000? It will help YOU flush out if your checks are statistically sound for frequency by doing this. And give you a better idea of what percentage is checked in each shipment. Important stuff if you have a quality spill. And, of course, every step must match the PFD and the PFMEA. Also - don't be afraid to try and go with a "family" control plan. Say you are making potato chips and the process is the same for BBQ and Sour Cream chips except for the bag of seasoning you dump in. You don't need to to a control plan for both. WARNING: Not every SQ sees the sense in this. Again - a lot will depend on what will fly with your SQ but this is a good question to ask.

#8: Measurement Systems Analysis: If there is one thing that bites people in manufacturing in the butt, it is this. Everyone assumes that this purchased gage works. You may go buy a wonderful digital micrometer that can spit out a half a micron. But if the nature of your part requires your tech to balance on one foot and reach around measure in an awkward position - guess what? That 0.0005 claim on the micrometer box won't mean diddly. Even worse - you enlist some special automated gage company to make you a whiz bang automated gage..... You better put words in that contract that it can pass a Gage R&R on ACTUAL PARTS. Not mock ups, not masters, REAL parts. I've seen this burn people over and over. Do the Gage R&Rs. Do them right. You should do them when a process seems unstable - it may be the gage and not the process that has the problem. Be VERY careful of Gage R&R forms you find on the 'net. Many of them don't work because someone copy/pasted a value where a formula should have been. Type in the example from the MSA Book or other known, good source into your software. If you don't get the same results - guess what? Your software is broken. I have seen professional software NOT calculate this correctly. No lie.

#9: Dimensionals. This is where your bubbled print from above comes into play. This is where you fully lay out n parts and say "look man, they're all in spec." How many is "n"? usually 3 to 5, but these days, people are asking for 6. Also, when you submit your PPAP to your customer, you must number and indicate in that PPAP shipment that THESE are the parts you did your dimensional checks on. It may be worth it to ship them separately. More often than I would care to admit PPAP parts get mistakenly built with normal production. Why send them special? So your customer can verify whatever measurements he's going to take in incoming inspection and check them against what you got. This is CRITICAL. Because guess what? HIS measurement system may be totally whack. And he may say a part is out of spec that you say is in spec. If that day comes in production, he is the customer. And that means that YOU are wrong until you prove yourself right which takes time. That whole time he will be billing you for sorting. And do you think when it comes out that you were right all along he will say "sorry, here, let me pay that sort bill for my mistake...." Ha ha ha. Cost of doing business, buddy. The lesson? These layout parts are GOLDEN. Insist he verifies them if he can. The other minefield? If this is a PPAP for a replacement tool, or duplicate process, or you are taking over business, expect to ALSO do an A to B comparison. So that's 12 parts. 6 old, 6 new with the differences highlighted. You should expect to have to do this and have that ready.

11 Capability Studes: This is Cpk/Ppk. The stats and they are usually only needed on the key characteristics. Work this out with your customer as to what they are. Minefields? Number one is pass through characteristics. You need to identify as early as you can what these are. And they are features YOU are putting in that your customer does not use, but HIS customer does. He "passes them through". You are making the brass ends of a garden hose, he is making the hose and putting your ends on it. He's not going to check if the fitting fits a spigot. That will be discovered when the consumer buys the hose and it doesn't fit his spigot at home. And you will be responsible for making your customer look bad in front of HIS customer. That's not a fun day for you, so push to get the pass throughs identified and if it is at all possible, you should poka-yoke them. They SHOULD be in the DFMEA he made that he should give you laying out the risks of the design. But he never gives you the DFMEA because he waits until the last minute himself to do it. Doesn't matter, when that part doesn't work at his customer, the only thing that will matter on that day is how badly you stink. Second minefield - if you do NOT have any key characteristics, PICK SOME. Pick a few dimensions that are going to be hard to make, or useful in knowing the process is behaving. If he doesn't ask, you don't have to submit a capability study, but DO IT for YOURSELF. Why? So you really know what your process is doing.

#12: Qualified Lab Documents - Man, this one is annoying. I'm not sure anyone REALLY understands what this means. But here's what works and will get you PPAP'd. Put together a list of all your measuring equipment and what it is in your lab. Toss in your ISO, TS, or QS certs. Maybe a blurb about your trick calibration database and what software you are using and your latest CMM certification and this will sail right through. It's not really enforced. (Don't want to argue this point with anyone, I am stating what I have seen work).

Last edited by ncwalker; 28th April 2015 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Grammar and clarity.
Thank You to ncwalker for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #23  
Old 28th April 2015, 05:59 PM
Marc's Avatar

Total Posts: 25,861
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

Than you ncwalker - Excellent. I appreciate your helping, and you did an excellent job of noting the pitfalls.
  Post Number #24  
Old 28th April 2015, 07:00 PM
ncwalker's Avatar

Total Posts: 195
Re: PPAP for Beginners - Where do I start?

No problem. The "blue books" are a good resource. But they are a LOT to swallow. I'm trying to keep it light, and yet point out where what is supposed to happen and what really happens differ. (6 more elements to go, coming right up....)

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